Monday, December 13, 2010

Federal Judge Rules Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled today that the individual mandate of the ACA (a.k.a. ObamaCare) is unconstitutional.

Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the (individual mandate) exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress.” from

I have previously read that due to the lack of a severablity clause, if any part of the law is ruled unconstitutional, the whole bill will have to be thrown out. Unfortunately, it turns out to be more complicated than that.

Here is the best explanation I have yet come across:

[T]he lack of a severability clause wouldn’t necessarily result in the overrule the rest of the legislation, which mostly have to do with spending and rationing — the expansion of Medicaid, Medicare cuts, and sweeping regulatory authority — and isn’t wrapped up in the mandate. This has been the Court’s approach to other issues, such as the recent Sarbanes-Oxley ruling, another law which lacked a severability clause, where they invalidated a portion of the law and allowed the rest to stand.

Some proponents of the ACA believe that the health of the individual mandate would move us closer to implementing a single payer system. (See Ezra Klein's article in today's Washington Post.) The danger of this is only too real.

The best way to prevent that from happening is to continue to speak out against ObamaCare as a whole.

Even a Supreme Court ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional will not save us from the multitude of other violations of life, liberty and property intimately woven throughout the ACA.

Preservation health care freedom and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship requires the complete REPEAL of the ACA, and the extraction of government from the business and practice of medicine.

For more analysis on today's reading see:
ObamaCare Is Unconstitutional by Grace-Marie Turner
Health Reform Will Survive it Legal Fight by Eric H0lder and Kathleen Sebelius